HomeAnswersDentistryoral thrushI have a recurring smooth patch on my tongue. What is it?

What does tongue cancer look like?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

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Published At May 20, 2018
Reviewed AtApril 19, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I had a wisdom tooth pulled four months back. A month later, I developed a smooth patch on the tongue that would heal and come right back in the same spot. I have never drunk, or smoke, and no family history of oral cancer. I am really scared it keeps coming back. There is no pain, just an ugly spot. I am afraid I have cancer. Please help. I cannot sleep. I used to take Nystatin, salt water rinse, and Clindamycin. Currently, I am taking Meclizine.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have seen the picture you have attached along with the complaint (attachment removed to protect patient identity). The smooth patch on your tongue does not seem to be caused by the wisdom tooth extraction. Basically, your tongue is not in a normal appearance. It has the yellowish white patch throughout the top surface with this newly formed smooth patch. This condition is called oral thrush, a fungal infection. You have also mentioned a history of Nystatin which is an antifungal medication used for oral thrush. I am unsure if you are even aware of it. I wonder even after you had the medication applied, this whitish thing has not gone away. But do not worry. This is not any cancerous situation. But the white patches on the tongue or anywhere else in the oral mucosa could be precancerous and that is when you have to go through a swab test to find out which micro-organisms are exactly causing it. Even in your case, if you have not had a swab test before I reckon you get one soon with your dentist. This is just to confirm it is a fungal infection and take medication accordingly. Oral thrush could also be a cause of any underlying disease. So please make sure you get it tested and treated for it. The treatment would include a change in diet, antifungal therapy, multivitamin therapy and oral hygiene procedures.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Geethanjali. S. S
Dr. Geethanjali. S. S


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